Acts 1:4

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Once when he was eating with them, he commanded them, “Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift he promised, as I told you before. “ Acts 1:4

I’ve read this verse many times. I’ve preached on this section of Acts several times – and today this verse stood out.

They were told to wait. They had spent 3 years wandering around Jerusalem with Jesus. Telling all who would listen that the kingdom of God had come to earth. God’s dream of love, peace, mercy and radical justice was here! They didn’t sit around with that information – they were on the move!

But then – everything stopped. Jesus died – and their world turned upside down. They no longer traveled around – but remained, in hiding at first, and then with the resurrected Jesus for 40 days. After they see him ascend in a cloud, they wait – they don’t know how long it will be. They are just there – waiting.

Does this sound at all familiar?

Being told to wait, to not leave a place, happens for a lot of different reasons. You might know someone who needed to be on bed rest during pregnancy. Waiting.

Or, perhaps you have sat by the phone waiting for a phone call with news – either good or bad.

Both of those times of waiting have an end point in sight.
For the disciples they have NO IDEA how long they must wait. They simply know that the Holy Spirit will come to them when their waiting period is over.

In the same way, we really have no idea how long we wait until we can gather together again in worship. How long we must wait until we can see loved ones. How long we must wait until – for some – our jobs return.

I don’t know about you, but it does give me some comfort knowing that this experience waiting is something that Jesus understands. More than that, we don’t have to wait for the Holy Spirit to show up – the Holy Spirit is already here. We do not wait alone!

The Holy Spirit is with you, giving comfort – guidance – and direction in this time of waiting – and always!

Let’s pray.
We thank you for your presence in this time of waiting. Show us how we can encourage those who are finding this time of waiting a struggle. Be with those who worry about family members who are ill. Be with those who are unemployed or underemployed. Use us to help those who are unable to put food in their tables. For all those who are hurting in this time of waiting, dear Lord, use us to provide healing and hope.
In Jesus Name, Amen.